On Friday September 6, the Florida Gators have been listed as a 3 point favorite over the Miami Hurricanes. It would be easy to say that Miami would have home field advantage, but no one knows for sure, how many fans will show up to the game. Miami typically shows up for big time events, and they like winners, but they aren’t a scary base. That means Miami must start fast at home to keep the crowd interested and involved.
The Florida Gators come into the Miami Hurricanes home at 12 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. Both teams should be at full strength entering the game, and that includes Florida running back, Matt Jones coming back from a viral infection. According to CBSSports.com, Jones will be in the starting lineup.
On the other end, Duke Johnson started fast in week one verse FAU. He produced 186 yards on 19 carries. If he has similar success against the Gators, Florida will be going home with a loss. Duke Johnson will be a threat in the passing game as well. He had one catch in the first game, but he will surely be more involved come Saturday afternoon.
The quarterbacks have to play better for each team if they are to escape with a victory. The Hurricanes’ Stephen Morris completed 55 percent of his passes last week, but it wasn’t all his fault. The faulty hands of some Miami receivers dropped easy touchdowns last week. Against this Florida defense, they can’t let big plays get away. They’ll be few and far between as it is.
Jeff Driskel was efficient with the passing game, but Florida did not push the ball down field. In similar fashion to last year, they might not be capable of producing big plays regularly. There’s no doubt that Driskel will use his legs as a weapon on Saturday.
Defensively, Miami has to match Florida’s tenacity. While it’s true that the Gators offense usually isn’t’ much to look at, they will try to run the ball and keep it away from Miami’s offense. The Hurricane’s need to force three and outs and a couple of turnovers. When they have a chance for an interception, Miami must capitalize.
There is no disputing the credibility of the Florida Gators’ defense. However, they can be scored on by a consistently great offense. After week one, they are eighth in total defense. They only gave up 50 yards rushing to Toledo. Yet, if they can’t control Duke Johnson with the front four, it could be a long day.
The Verdict: This game will come down to a battle of wills. Will Florida be able to control both facets of the running game? Will they be able to make moves in the passing game? Will they create enough turnovers to slow down the Miami offense altogether? While the answer remains to be seen, it’s likely that Stephen Morris will find open receivers on Saturday. Will the Hurricane receivers catch everything in sight?
Miami Hurricanes 24
Florida Gators 21
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